King/Morocco v. Louisiana Capitol Police, No. 2:2019cv11796 - Document 5 (E.D. La. 2019)

Court Description: ORDER AND REASONS denying 4 MOTION to APPEAL MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S RULING. The plaintiff's 4 motion to set aside the Magistrate Judge's order is denied, and the Magistrate Judge's order is affirmed. Signed by Judge Sarah S. Vance on 10/3/2019. (mm)
Download PDF
King/Morocco v. Louisiana Capitol Police Doc. 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA THE KING/ MOROCCO VERSUS CIVIL ACTION NO. 19-11796 LOUISIANA CAPITOL POLICE SECTION “R” (3) ORD ER AN D REASON S Plaintiff The King/ Morocco opposes the Magistrate J udge’s order denying him the privilege of proceeding in form a pauperis in this case. Having reviewed the com plaint, 1 the application to proceed without prepaying fees or costs, 2 the applicable law, the Magistrate J udge’s order, 3 and the plaintiff’s m otion objecting to that order, 4 the Court finds the plaintiff’s objections to be without m erit. Therefore, it is ordered that the plaintiff’s m otion to set aside the Magistrate J udge’s order is denied. 1 2 3 4 R. Doc. 1. R. Doc. 2. R. Doc. 3. R. Doc. 4. Dockets.Justia.com I. BACKGROU N D On J uly 22, 20 19, the plaintiff filed a pro se com plaint against the Louisiana Capitol Police asserting a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 5 In his com plaint, the plaintiff alleges that the police officers in the Louisiana state capitol building used excessive force, illegally searched and arrested the defendant, and seized his vehicle in violation of his Fourth Am endment rights. 6 The plaintiff acknowledges he was accused of disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. 7 He seeks an award of $ 30 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 in certified gold bars. 8 In pursuit of his § 1983 claim, the plaintiff filed an application to proceed in this m atter in form a pauperis. 9 This application was autom atically referred to the Magistrate J udge for review. Because the plaintiff reported $4,0 0 0 in income over the past twelve m onths and listed no expenses or debts, the Magistrate J udge denied the plaintiff’s application. 10 The Magistrate J udge also noted that the plaintiff’s claim s are 5 6 7 8 9 10 R. Doc. 1. See id. at 5. See id. Id. at 6. R. Doc. 2. See R. Doc. 3; See also R. Doc. 2. 2 prescribed on the face of the com plaint. 11 The plaintiff then filed a motion seeking review of the Magistrate J udge’s order, which is before the Court. 12 II. D ISCU SSION The plaintiff first objects to the Magistrate J udge’s order on the grounds that, notwithstanding the incom e he claim ed on his pauper application, he is im poverished and should therefore be allowed to proceed in form a pauperis. 13 The Court m ay authorize a litigant to proceed in form a pauperis if a party is unable to pay the Court’s fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). The Court has wide discretion in denying an application to proceed in form a pauperis, particularly in civil cases where courts “should grant the privilege sparingly.” Flow ers v. Turbine Support Div., 50 7 F.2d 1242, 1244 (5th Cir. 1975), superseded by statute on other grounds, Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d). The plaintiff’s financial affidavit shows that his incom e was $ 4,0 0 0 last year, and that he has additional incom e of $ 576 from SNAP benefits. 14 Moreover, the plaintiff noted that he has no regular m onthly expenses, no dependents, and no debts or financial obligations. 15 11 12 13 14 15 Id. R. Doc. 4. R. Doc. 4 at 2. R. Doc. 2 at 1. Id. at 2. 3 Because the plaintiff has sufficient incom e to pay the filing fee and no outgoing expenses, the Magistrate J udge was correct to deny the plaintiff’s pauper application. Additionally, the Magistrate J udge’s observation that the plaintiff’s claim s are prescribed on the face of the com plaint is correct. 16 As the Magistrate J udge correctly noted, § 1983 claims are subject to the prescriptive period of the state in which the underlying cause of action occurred. 17 See W allace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 387 (20 0 7); Kingham v. Pham , 753 Fed. App’x 336, 336-37 (5th Cir. 20 19). Here, the plaintiff’s cause of action arose in Louisiana. 18 The plaintiff’s claim s are delictual in nature, and therefore subject to a prescriptive period of one year from the date the harm was alleged. See La. Civ. Code. art. 3492; see also Eaglin v. Eunice Police Dept., No. 20 17-1875, 20 18 WL 3154744 (La. J une 27, 20 18) (treating a plaintiff’s claim s for false arrest and im prisonment as delictual actions subject to a one-year prescriptive period). The plaintiff alleges the underlying events took place on J une 20 , 20 18, but he did not file suit until J uly 22, 20 19. 19 Because the plaintiff did not file his com plaint until m ore 16 17 18 19 R. Doc. 1. R. Doc. 3. R. Doc. 1 at 5. R. Doc. 1 at 5. 4 than a year after the alleged harm, the Magistrate J udge is correct that the claim s are prescribed on the face of the com plaint. The plaintiff asserts that the Magistrate J udge’s analysis is incorrect because he argues this is a “federal m atter” and therefore the Court should “usurp” the Louisiana prescriptive period. 20 This argum ent is without m erit, as it asks the Court to ignore caselaw which dictates that the Court apply Louisiana’s prescriptive period here. III. CON CLU SION For the foregoing reasons, the plaintiff’s m otion to set aside the Magistrate J udge’s order is denied, and the Magistrate J udge’s order is affirm ed. New Orleans, Louisiana, this _ 3rd _ _ _ _ day of October, 20 19. _____________________ SARAH S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT J UDGE 20 R. Doc. 4 at 4. 5